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GLW issue number 994

1000th Issue Fund Appeal: Help us raise $100,000 by March 12

Many people gasped when they read that an Oxfam study found that the richest 85 people in the world own the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It is shocking and unconscionable. It is grossly unfair and unjust. But it is much more than this. This unimaginable concentration of wealth condemns the liveability of the planet and makes permanent war inescapable – for how else but through ruthless violence can this wealth and power of the privileged few be maintained?

Venezuela: Commune members denounce rural killings

Communes and social movements have demanded the Venezuelan government combat the assassination of rural activists in the mountains of western Venezuela, which they say is undermining communal organising in the region.

The assassinations are taking place in the mountains of the western state of Lara. In response to the latest murder of an activist in the region, a group of 21 communes and more than 20 social movements, human rights groups and community media outlets released a statement on January 18 denouncing the situation of growing insecurity in the area.

Venezuela: Land reform push in campaign for 'agrarian socialism'

The Venezuelan government plans to continue its land expropriations this year in its push to move towards what it terms “agrarian socialism”.

In the 2014 national budget, the government’s National Land Institute (INTI) sets its aim to expropriate 350,000 hectares of land this year.

This compares with the goals of 350,000 and 397,000 hectares of land the government sought to expropriate in 2012 and last year respectively. The government began to increase the pace of land expropriations in 2011.

PHOTO STORY: Sydney's Yabun Festival marks Survival Day

January 26 is officially celebrated as Australia Day, but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (and anyone who values the truth) it is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day. This is the day when British colonial authorities arrogantly laid claim to this continent, opening an era of brutal dispossession, genocide and racism.

Libya: Fresh protests in struggle for democracy

A wave of protests has broken out in recent months against militias in Libya’s cities.

The militias are armed groups originally formed during the 2011 civil war. Most are based in a particular town or region, but they sometimes try to exercise power over a wider area.

There is widespread resentment at their arbitrary exercise of power. One protester told the Libya Herald that the militias “terrorise, steal and kidnap people”.

Germany: Refugee struggle shakes up Hamburg

About 300 West African refugees reached the German city of Hamburg early last year after a long and perilous journey from Libya.

They had, like countless other refugees travelling from north Africa, crossed the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa the name that the group of 300 later adopted for themselves.

The refugees had hoped to receive refugee status from the German state. However, authorities, deferring to European Union guidelines, refused to provide them with any sort of accommodation and tried to expel them from Hamburg.

Philippines: Urban poor resist fresh demolitions

The Manila Seedling Bank, a seven hectare area of small market gardens and big and small shops selling plants, was a rare green space among the traffic jams, shopping malls and slums on the intersection of Quezon and Edsa Avenues in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

It was also home to a community of hundreds of smallholding horticulturalists and their families. That was until January 20.

Women's football badly underdeveloped

When Nadine Angerer, German goalkeeper for the Brisbane Roar W-League football (soccer) team, won the 2013 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, it highlighted the quality of women's football in Australia.

However, as Aron Micallef highlights in the article below, it remains severely underdeveloped in contrast to its male equivalent. The article first appeared on Micallef's Attacking From the Left sports blog.

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WikiLeaks exposes Pacific trade deal's environmental failure

Having leaked the disturbing details in the chapter on intelectual property rights in the secret proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last year, WikiLeaks released the TPP's environment chapter on January 15.

Abbott's war on asylum seekers

It has been a long and horrifying two months for refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia. Many new directives, plans and an increasingly brutal border control regime have led to a mounting crisis that legal experts are increasingly referring to as criminal.

Here are five ways the government have made the treatment of asylum seekers worse.

CLOSING DETENTION CENTRES IN AUSTRALIA TO EXPAND OFFSHORE

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